tv The Stream Al Jazeera November 13, 2014 12:30pm-1:01pm EST
like coming here, and we love going to france. >> reporter: oh, i don't mind if i do. >> welcome to paris, our last stop. >> reporter: june that hull, al jazeera, on board the euro star. real news whenever you want it, 24/7 at the website, aljazeera.com. fletcher, and you are in the stream. drowning in debt, predatory lenders are on the prowl for u.s. military members and veterans. what is being done to put an end to their schemes? plus, why do developers for the hit video game call of duty consult with the pentagon? and later, gaming for good, how veterans are turning away from medicine and turning toward their computer screens to help with pain.
digital producer and co-host bringing in all of your feedback, you know, we talk a lot about predatory lending and it is terrible, but when you look at the numbers that some of these service members are getting stuck with, loans at 200 perspires. >> crazy. >> it is insane. >> we have talked about this before. we were both shocked to see how specifically effects veterans. we got some great stories from veterans. we gave this fact out, a 2014 reports that 26% of service members sometimes have difficulty making ends meet. alison tweets in as a former u.s. military wife, i can attest to this, that most service members qualify for women, infant, and children food statutes and it is reprehensible. a lot of stories about how this is effecting families military service people, and they have no one to talk to.
>> the department of defense may ask congress to amend the lending act, a law that kept interest rates at 36%, because apparently it isn't enough to stop lenders from preying on members of the military. this comes in the middle of what some are calling a lending crisis, victim highed members of the armed forced. as ranch mentions with incredibly high fees unclear terms and in some cases they are even offering up money upfront, in exchange for signing over military pension benefits. advocates say state lawmakers have only exacerbating the problem by allowing lenders to charge increase rates and fees. according to the department of defense, 41% of active members have taken out short term loans to help make things meet. should be done to help curb these practices? joining us to discuss this on skype out of atlanta is roy barnes.
former governor of georgia and an attorney, who now represents military service members being targeted with predatory loans. from austin texas, senior policy analyst that's a public interest law center that advocates for victims of predatory loans. thank you for being here, governor, you have tries numerous high profile cases, class action lawsuits you represent soldier whose have been victimized, give us some examples of what some of your clients are facing. >> what we are litigating right now is the charge on what are called title pawns or motor vehicle loans. and the interest rates are 300% in many cases. they say well, we will give you a discount, a military discount, and that's 150%. instead of the 300%. and military folks are particularly targeted because they have a regular check that's
coming in, the lender knows where they are located, and on many occasion the commanding officers will assist in the collection of the money, because they don't want to have military personnel that are being threatened by these predatory lenders. it is a very big problem. we do not pay our military personnel enough. and they have a very difficult time of making it. and you can do around any military base and you will see predatory lenders that are located at close as they can get to the front gates so that these military personnel know where they are going. and many times it is when a ill many tear personnel is soldiers is about to be deployed, he wants to make sure that his wife, or husband, spouse, has sufficient money to carry them until they get back, and they fall into these
traps of what i call continual military payday remembering. >> governor, i know some of your clients have gotten involved in loans that are 100, to 300 perspires rates that they get buried in, is this type of lending legal? no, it isn't not. under the military lending act, which was passed in 2007, it caps the interest rate at 36%. now, in the case that we have pending now, down in columbus georgia which is where fort bening is, and it's where the infinity school is, we have found -- there are -- the lender is -- the military lending act is not apply to a title pawn because title passes in a pawn transaction. that's simply in our view incorrect, and the matters before the 11th circuit court of appeals here, we expect to prevail on that. but some of these cases
are just tragic cases. alison tweets us in, let us not forget the average marine will spent $200 per month from a meager paycheck, on required out of the costly. they don't have enough money. some military offices can lose their -- this can work as a double edged sword, one side has a need which decides their deed as per government rules and then we have texas apple seed sowing the seeds of justice. and you are from these texas apple seed. a lot can lose their security clearance if they fall into debt, which begs how do they have transparency? who do you talk to about this? if you lose your security clearance, doesn't this just worsen the problem? what have you seen in your
experience? >> well, the reason why the military lending act was adopted was because of concerns among in the department of defense, that a lot of military members were losing their security clearance because of this loan. these kinds of high cost loans, and i think that the impacts of that initial 36% rate cap that they put into place, so they define the product i think too narrowly. was a positive impact, it boast spurs the offering of better products to military, and it started to put some protections into place. i think that the military families and incomes it is an on going struggle that families have. not just military families but families across the board. one thing that we heard from a financial counselor on a large military installation in texas is that it used to be that people on a listed salary were just supporting themselves.
but more and more, individuals receiving enlisted salary are supporting a whole family. found a military member with a loan at 1,700% ap, are just recently, and the reason that that loan can exist is because in texas where we have one of the largest military populations in the country, state laws are weak such that these businesses can get around that state laws are weak, and the lobbies are powerful. you signed a predatory lending restriction bill, about a year later that was unraveled by governor purdue. resoaring that industry, how difficult is it politically to get a handle on predatory lending. >> it is very difficult. in fact, i said that -- i have said many times.
the most difficult bill i ever passed was not removing the con federal battle flag from the georgia flag, which was a monumental task. but it was passing the fair lending act. and the lobby is so great, the money spent is so large, that it became almost impossible to pass the bill. i finally just -- i exerted my political capital in passing that pill, only to see it as you said, a few months after i left office, to be repealed than any other bill that i ever passed. >> all right, on that note, i want to thank our guests. governor roy burns thank you for joining us. the new edition of the popular call of duty series was released last week, and it is expected to rake in $1 billion in sales.
20 million copies in just the coming weeks. critics say the reliance on consultants to craft real life battle scenarios is problematic. here now on skype out of los angeles is david leonard, an associate professor who researchers video games and popular culture. a video game arts and culture company. and hosts of the program game show co-founder of the company dozen eyes. but declined we will get into that, thank you for being here. help us set the stage for anyone who is not emerged in this type of gaming, how big is the industry? how fast is it growing? >> sure, well, at this point the video game industry really reflects the culture at large. it is $100 billion industry, you start to see a lot of diversity in terms of the types of
people that are playing. the largest segment is women in their 20's and 30's. larger than teenager boys so we are seeing a lot of the same demographic shifts. >> $100 billion that's got to rival hollywood, doesn't it? yeah, absolutely. the thing is games is revenue is split up, there's stuff that is sold at retail. mobile devices if there's something you can plug it in, you can probably play a game on it. how interconnected is video gaming and is entertainment industry. >> very connected. the military reached tout video game companies and those utilizing these technologies to develop training mechanisms. to really create simulations and then over the next couple of years question saw the
intrusion of the simulation into the commercial market. and so it is a long standing relationship between the military, the entertaining industry, and then academic, who are at the forefront of creating these. >> soluth colonel oliver north, he advised production on black ofs two, and then he appeared in a documentary about it. seven u.s. navy seals were part of the production on medal of honor war fighter, do you think that the relationships dave, can become too close between the military and defense contractors and the gaming industry? and at some point jeopardize national security? >> i think one of the key points is how emmersed militarism and really our war culture is in every day life. as was just said, if you can plug it in you can play a game. and what does it mean that no matter where you
go you can be emmersed in not only the simulation of war, but the simulations of war erase the consequences that imagine these communities as without civilians. that don't deal with the long term effects. that portray war as this hyper masculine glory space. i think that's the concern is the types of narratives that are being promulgated, and of course it isn't surprising that the military is touting and celebrating war rather than critically enganging it's long term effects. >> i have to make a confession, my wife bought me call of duty, it is sitting at my house, i am a gamer, and we asked our gaming community, what david is saying the consequences on facebook, lowell says no doubt, these games contributes to violence
and aggression. it also endeucing young people to enlist in the military, in the past we have john wayne movies and now we have call of duty, when i was a kid, we played war with sticks for guns, it didn't turn us into killishes and giving a global context, if you want to talk about militarized youth, look to the child army of africa, not some stupid video game. this is a video game re'sed from china. it is called glorious mission. i will show you a couple of seconds. >> that looks so real. >> yeah, that's real that was create add couple of years ago, in that game you get to train -- and then you fight u.s. soldiers now speaking about the united states, we are also not innocent, here is army's army, this is downloadable, one of the most popular downloadable games of all time, check this out. welcome to your first training exercise. >> and now check this
out, this is isil, islamic state in iraq, they have created their own version overgrain theft auto, not making it up. check this out. this is a trailer i found on youtube. and we have a video comment. >> war is a terrible thing, and it is a very human experience, and a human thing to want to include this in entertainment. diversity is a huge gaming right now. l it's first person shooters we can have thoughtful conversations about what it means to experience conflict in war, by including more and diverse points of view. >> all right, so phoenix, krista was talking about the need for diversity of characters we just saw all these games you saw story telling you saw subjective viewpoint, now when i play these, i often notice that none of the characters are brown skinned like me.
there call of duty, which is the birthplace of my parents spiking about story telling if we introduce nuance characterization, do you think it could inoculate the audience from military propaganda? and apathy. >> i think that's an interesting proposition, i would say the scenarios themselves need to diversity. so right now a lot of the games if you decide to not kill anybody, for example, there's no way into the conversation. so i think that's the first thing that we need to address. is how the scenarios are constructed. also, i think there's a larger possible range of experiences that can occur in those environments. and i think that we should focus on those possible experiences. and questionty is massive issue in gaming overall. i think that it is for -- it's got the potential to really change the landscape of how we
approach and talk about and think about even making games. >> jaw have said you think those should be more disclosure between the military and the video game industry. why do you say that. >> i think we need to make a distinction between those that are made for entertainment, and those for recruitment. it can be more problematic if they are playing a game for america's army, not understanding that it is funded by u.s. military, and it is designed to get people interested in joining the army. using consultants to evoke military -- that's not much different than what michael bay does, hollywood works with the military, a lot of people in the entertainment industry work with the military. i think if it goes any further than that, then i think it would be important to have some
type of disclosure my hope for games is you see a broader range of experiences that encapsulate this human activity. you look at fisks like jar head, that take place in wartime settings but deal with different questions. so i think there's a lot of room for games to grow, to try to encapsulate those experiences. >> frequently we talk about the effect these games have on kids but as we are talking about today, it isn't kid whose are playing these, the arch user is 31. do we need to talk about the effect they are having on adults. >> i think we need to talk about not only their effects but what they reflect. the absence of diversity in terms of how the arab world and muslims are represented games. the absence of humanity. as phoenix was noting in terms of the lack of diversity in narratives. so i think they have an effect, but they also reflect these broader
social forces, and i think the overreliance on the military is the only source of realism contributed to the absence of diversity. these are the singular narratives that reflect their agenda as opposed to the complexities and the depth that would off a range of scenarios and narratives. >> all right, well, we asked our community, and we got feedback. ed that use said i wouldn't say the community is militarized. they are mostly screaming 12-year-olds or casual gamers. and then we actually -- again, mentioned to our community that isil has created it's own grand theft auto. emotional -- call of duty terrorist training programs? boys are getting bored with utter domination, and are now training better enemies. and speaking about training enemies. we talks about extremism on the show before.
the state department has been about rating on twitter trying to battle it out. should the government be trying to battle it out using video games? especially with isil tries to use their own version, and grand theft auto. >> what's your thoughts. >> well, i think it reflects certainly a sophistication of techniques on the part of isil. most kids play video games to research the center found that 99% of kids under the age of 18 play video games. certainly if you are looking to attract, that video games are probably a good place to start. my hope is we talk about video games to understand that this is a very wide medium, and ultimately violent games or military base shooters are a segment of that industry, and i think that my long term hope would be that fuel the attract to join the military for other reasons.
why isn't medal of honor about honor, why isn't call of duty about duty? those are the values they should be trying to propagate, hopefully not the oned that are espoused in the current it races of call of duty. i hope it doesn't come down to which group has the most realistic graphics. >> all right, our guests are sticking around, hop you do too, coming up next, we will discuss the ways gaming is being used for good, like helping to treat ptsd and relieve extreme pain in veterans
hi, i am max looks and i am in the stream. >> welcome back we have been discussing the mill tar ration of video games. now we want to turn to how video games are being used for good. tell us how certain video games are being used to relieve stress to releigh pain, and help veterans? groot yeah, there's a virtual reality therapy called exposure therapy where you create a virtual world, and you put x, or members of the military in these scenarios where they are confronted under therapeutic session with images or scenarios that trigger their trauma. and the therapists can guide and lead them through those
experiences. that is the kind of nexus of work that is going on in this area here at hku where i teach, in 2011, students works with the dutch ministry of defense, to create a careen virtual world. your entire body is involved you are in a harness, on a treadmill, and they created this kind of science fiction world where when you were this the game you sort of sped up your heart rate, and put yourself in these positions of stress, and then once you are physical self-got elevated enough, they would present you with images from your trauma. and than you can choose to punch at them until they would kind of fade out. >> it is incredible, i was reading about this world called snow world, when they are cleaning
the wounds it is so painful, but when they are doing the game simultaneously, it numbs it. they are using wayless pain medication. >> we asked the community what are the pros and cons of using it a a healing technique, just to get them out of daily life, and sign me up for it, and talk about the future, virtual reality, i want to bring you into the conversation about one minute left, look, you heard phoenix talk about it, virtual reality. talk to us about the possibilities of this technology, which become main stream and might be affordable for most americans? >> yeah, i'm incredibly excited. ironically, virtual reality is something that was pursued by the military, so it is nice to see something that will be in every day homes. i think the virtual reality has all kinds of applications. whether it's treating ptsd, i think travel is one, being able to see places you have never seen before. for medicine, to train surgeons that was
recently at a hospital in france, to train young surgeons so they can see what the lead surgeon was so i think there's a lot of potential applications with ewill see start bubbling up. i am really excited to see what happens next. >> phoenix, give me the final world? about ten or 15 seconds? on the future of gaming for good? >> i think that we have a moment in games that we can really create games that have a positive social impact. and i think that that's where game designers should focus their time. >> all right, thanks to all of our guests until next time, we will see you online.
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